Author Topic: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs  (Read 538 times)

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Offline Heisenburger

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My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« on: May 22, 2013, 10:27:21 PM »
     I'm pretty sure my mother is aware I'm an atheist.  I haven't told my parents because I had to move back in with them (long story) and I'll be on the street if my fundie dad finds out. Recently I've dropped subtle hints by discussing amazing "miracles" in the medical and scientific fields.  I started to share an explaination for near-death experiences I saw on "Through the Wormhole." 
     "Don't tell me anything that's gonna upset me." she said.  I knew at once she was expecting something that might shake her faith. 
     I brushed off a passive-agressive comment about no one being able to change her mind.  "No one is trying to change your mind on anything.  I love science and these breakthoughs are amazing.  I had to share."
   What she said next shook me to my core:  "Sometimes it's just better not finding out."
    I've been fearing a horrible fight over giving up my religion, but the reality that came is worse than being disowned.  I think, from her same experience with my fundie dad, she is skeptical.  She is, however, trapped in Christianity.  She knows science will refute her entire meaning of life.  She admitted that she wants to believe no matter what.  It almost makes me cry.  I feel we are all victims of my father's brainwashing and she won't dare upset the establishment.  I feel so sad for her.  It's like she's so far in her own wormhole that to crawl out in her golden years isn't worth it.         
“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.”  -Richard Pryor

Offline Fiji

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2013, 02:35:44 AM »
So, your choices basically are, dragging her, kicking and screaming into a rational mindset, alienating your dad ... towards the both of you and everyone ends up resenting everyone else ... or leaving her blissfully ignorant.
Scylla and Charybdis!

All you can do, I suppose, is make sure your own offspring grow up using their brain.
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

Without life, god has no meaning.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2013, 06:15:58 AM »
drop a hint that it feels so good to be free of the bondage of religion and belief

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2013, 08:00:20 AM »
     "Don't tell me anything that's gonna upset me." she said.
.....
   What she said next shook me to my core:  "Sometimes it's just better not finding out."

Are you SURE she meant HER faith?  To be honest, when I read it I thought she was saying "don't tell me YOU are an atheist - I don't want to know".

That way she avoids arguments with YOU, and can fool herself that you will one day be with her in heaven, rather than burning in hell.

Just a thought.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline neopagan

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2013, 08:08:33 AM »
Heisenberger,
I am in a similar situation... in the closet so my wife does not go apeshit on me.  I gave up 36 years of theism months ago.

What I have done is just stop talking the fundie talk. It has an impact, although subtle. She asked me recently if I thought the bible was inspired by god. I said sure, a consideration of their view of god inspired various authors to write those books.  She paused, looked oddly at me and dropped it.  Fundie speak would have been "oh yes it is the god breathed very word of the creator, infallible an  perfect..."

By the way, I felt tremendous fear and dread about what giving it all up would be like. When I did, however, relief and freedom was what I felt. Strange but liberating.

I do wonder if you you are projecting more of your fears on her... let her think for herself.

Good luck
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 08:10:16 AM by neopagan »
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Heisenburger

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2013, 02:39:45 PM »
Anfauglir,
     The full statement was "Sometimes it's just better not finding out, and that's not being hard-headed. I just know what I know."  When I mentioned NDEs, she thought my recital was headed into the subject of the afterlife and cut me off. Talking science is a taboo to my father. I failed science in high school because I would skip it, since it was Satan's tool to sway God's children. Mom gets most uncomfortable if he's around. I've noticed her change subjects if he starts to listen intently. Most times he says "That's a crock!" or "That's not real." Don't dare show proof. He uses only a typewriter, but will suddenly know what Photoshop is. His only news is Fox News. He believes the ghost hunters shows are real and they are contacting demons. Other than those two programs, it's nothing but the bible and books on end times Prophecy. Of the 8 children he had involvement in raising, 6 aren't religious and we cite him as a reason. Two cut ties before I was born. I feel, based on past experience and that talk, my mom is aware and indifferent. She is, however, hiding it from my dad. Questioning my faith to him has made him apeshit. I can't imagine his aggression if I came out.
     I have no plans of trying to de-convert them, as I've mentioned before. My goal is to survive the summer as I am moving to an open-minded college town near Austin in September.
Thanks for reading if you made it:)
“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.”  -Richard Pryor

Offline Jag

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2013, 03:13:03 PM »
Sorry to hear it's so uncomfortable at home (and also if uncomfortable sounds too simple). Keep your head down and grit your teeth to get through the summer - this will end soon enough, so just hang in there.
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 03:15:33 PM »
Good luck to you. Many of us survived highly religious homes--and before the internet allowed for other ideas! You can make it.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Heisenburger

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 08:02:11 PM »
Head is down, and the internet communities help a lot.
“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.”  -Richard Pryor

Offline Schizoid

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2013, 08:42:44 PM »
I work for a religious organization that runs homeless shelters and feeds the hungry (the one with the kettles at Christmas).  My immediate coworker and supervisor knows I am an atheist and we have discussions about religion.  Fortunately, even though he is a devoted Christian fundamentalist he respects my beliefs and in no way tries to change me.  I understand that I chose to work for a religious organization so I respect them as well and keep my own council and don't try to change anyone's beliefs.

I am a single, old duffer so I don't have to worry about what anyone outside of my work thinks about my atheism.  It's a nice position to be in.

Offline Quesi

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2013, 08:53:25 PM »
I don't pretend that I am even close to understanding the complex family relationships that both Heisenburger and neopagan are facing.  But these are people you love.  People with whom you share a home.  Perhaps one strategy might working on creating the kind of environment in which you can ultimately be honest with your family.  What aspects of Christianity are important to them? 

Heisen, it sounds like your mom is afraid that her life will lose meaning.  I don't understand that.  For me, my life has meaning because it is my life.  Not a rehearsal for an afterlife.  But maybe you can work on focusing on the aspects of your mom's life that have meaning outside of religion.  Does she serve the community?  Is she someone who others lean on, or does she impact on the well-being of others?  Can you help her recognize the importance of her life outside of the context of religion?   Can you share bits of science that make her feel awe?  I love Neil Degrasse Tyson and Brian Cox and of course Carl Sagan.  When I hear them speak, I, to quote Dr. Tyson, "feel large."

Neo, I LOVE your answer to your wife.  It was so honest and clear. 

I guess for both of you, try and pinpoint the aspects of religion that are important to your family members, and help them see that these things can exist outside of religion.  Religion offers community, traditions, rites of passage, cultural identity, explanations for the world around us, a way to honor our ancestors and those who we love who have died, and it also provides a forum for moral codes, altruistic acts, and a philosophy of life.  But each of these things can exist outside of the context of religion.  All of them. 

Good luck to both of you.  Feel free to come here and share and vent.  Share when you feel strong, and when you feel weak or scared or defeated.  You have a challenging journey ahead of you. 

Offline neopagan

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2013, 10:32:02 PM »
quesi, I certainly agree with the honesty route, always have... except now in this one area of religion.  It was always a big part of our collective life but I just kept sliding away as doubts grew.  My wife has no doubts, since she refuses to entertain the qqestions. 

My stance will bubble to the surface eventually and it will be a bad scene.  My plan is to tread water until the  kids are old enough...  I fully expect it to be over between us when this comes up... she is that blinded by it and that intractable.

I am not happy about that eventuality, but I cannot live with the level of emotional blackmail it would take for me to believe a lie.

As I have said before these boards are a lifeline.



If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline junebug72

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Re: My Christian mother refuted her own beliefs
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2013, 07:33:15 AM »
Sounds to me like you have a very wise mother.  As a mother I taught my son we "don't really know."  It seems like intelligence is responsible but we really don't know.  Maybe this is the same thing your mom was trying to tell you, in her own way.  While also keeping the peace with your father.

Well after your second post I guess that doesn't make sense.  The effects of religion are sad. Quesi has this one under control good luck to you.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 07:43:02 AM by junebug72 »
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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